1. BE MENTALLY PRESENT
Be here now. It is the most important advice I can give. Miscommunications and missed opportunities occur far too often because people are distracted by their own thoughts and not focusing on what is happening in front of them. This is especially hard in an interview, when your body is filled with nerves and your mind is running through all the various ways this could play out. Instead of focusing on what could be, pay attention to what is.
2. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
The first thing to do before entering an interview is to change your mindset. Instead of saying to yourself, “Don’t mess up!” or “Please pick me...” enter the room believing you are already on their team. You have to assume you and the interviewer are already colleagues. You are entering the room to get to know each other better, to exchange ideas and to see if you can work together to build something great. You are not entering the room to be grilled or interrogated. This is a supportive atmosphere where you can have a conversation and explore new topics.
3. INTERVIEW THE INTERVIEWER
It is important to remember that you are also interviewing the interviewer. You need to figure out if this is a work environment that you can thrive in. The last thing you want to do is move your whole life around for this job and find out that this is not a place where you feel you can spread your wings and fly. That is why an interview is a conversation. Go in excited to explore new possibilities. You are seeing if you can add to their team and if their team is the right fit for you.
4. GO WITH THE FLOW
People always tell me that their number one fear is saying the wrong thing. It is impossible to predict and prepare for every possible situation and question. Instead, breathe and be excited about this experience. Fun is the antidote to fear. I have my clients engage in various improvisation exercises to remind them that the unplanned can be fun.
5. DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Even though you can’t prepare for everything, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare. Know the company you are interviewing for. What is their mission statement? What are they currently working on? Were any articles about them released lately? With the internet at your fingertips, you have many resources to consult before entering an interview situation. You also need to know why you are the best fit for this job. If you don’t know why you are ideal for this position, how can you expect others to believe you are? Figure out what makes you uniquely qualified for the job and why you would be a great addition to their team.
Bri McWhorter is the Founder and CEO of Activate to Captivate.